In Mertzon and Barnhart, Texas, the worst drought in decades is raising tensions between local residents and energy companies that use millions of gallons of local water for fracking.
Each time an energy company starts a fracking well for shale gas, they use up to 8 million gallons of water, notes The Guardian(video below).
According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, about 30 communities in West Texas may run out of water by the end of 2013.
Nearly 15 million people in Texas are under some type of water rationing, from watering lawns to filling swimming pools.
The drought and fracking have made it very difficult for local ranchers to feed and water their cattle, and cotton farmers have lost up to half their crops.
Contractors drill water wells on leased land, not for human consumption, but to supply the oil companies.
People, who own land with water underneath, are leasing it out to the oil industry, even though there is a water shortage and the drought shows no signs of stopping.
"If you're going to develop the oil, you've got to have the water," said Larry Baxter, a resident in Mertzon. He has installed two frack tanks on his land and hopes to make big money by selling water to energy industry.
"People use their water for food and fibre. I choose to use my water to sell to the oil field. Who's taking advantage? I don't see any difference" added Baxter.